The good news is that Carson Wentz is participating in full-team 11-on-11 drills Sunday.
The better news is that Doug Pederson says it’s permanent.
“Every day, he’ll get a little something,” Pederson said.
Pederson said a week ago that he anticipated Wentz resuming full-team drills on his surgically repaired knee this week, and he said before practice that the plan was still in place, even though the Eagles practiced outdoors on rain-soaked fields Sunday.
It was their first practice since their preseason game Thursday night in Foxboro, Massachusetts, and it was closed to the media.
Pederson said it was a big step for Wentz to return to full-team drills. He said Wentz and Nick Foles would split reps Sunday with the first offense.
Does this mean he’s going to play against the Falcons in the opener?
It’s certainly a big step.
“It’s big,” Pederson said. “It’s big to begin to evaluate him and see where he’s at and get him back in there with the guys.
“It’s still a slow process, but at the same time, it’s still exciting for us to get him back out there.”
Wentz, who tore his left ACL in Los Angeles on Dec. 10, participated in 11-on-11 drills July 26-28, but after the third day, Pederson shut him down, limiting him to only individual and 7-on-7 drills the last three weeks.
Pederson said it wasn’t a setback but that he had seen enough from Wentz.
But now, with opening day just 2 1/2 weeks away, Wentz is back doing full-team drills, and Pederson said everything he sees from Wentz is encouraging.
“His arm is live, he’s moving around well,” Pederson said.
He said Wentz will still be limited to how much full-team work he gets but will get some in every practice.
“He’s not going to get the full complement of reps,” Pederson said. “We’ll sprinkle him in in each drill.”
Pederson was asked what he learned by watching Wentz these last few weeks.
“Quite a bit, actually,” he said. “His overall health, the strength of his knee, where he’s at physically. His arm is live, he hasn’t had all the reps … like Nick has had, like Nate (Sudfeld) has had, so he’s fresh. All the things where he wanted him to be at this stage.”
Wentz won’t play against the Browns on Thursday night, and Pederson said he doesn’t plan on playing him in the preseason finale, even if he’s fully cleared.
“Probably not,” he said. “We’re not there yet. We’re just going to take it day-by-day right now. … I haven’t thought beyond getting him out there today. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Wentz wasn’t made available to the media before or after practice Sunday. He’s scheduled to talk Monday.
Pederson said he knows Wentz was frustrated not being involved in team drills these past few weeks, but Pederson made it clear to the 25-year-old third-year pro that he wasn’t going to deviate from the plan.
“The biggest thing is communicating with him,” Pederson said. “Just saying, ‘Hey, here’s the plan, and this is the way it is and this is what we’re sticking to.’
“If I were in his shoes, I’d probably want to be out there, too. But this is obviously for his health and benefit and his progress and the longevity of his career, so the biggest thing for me was just being honest and communicating with him up front.”